Being Adaptive Is Key

In the ‘Can Do’ world and language of Outdoor Learning the word adaptive is a key term. The introduction of adaptive equipment has transformed the possibilities for many children, young people and adults with additional needs.

An example of this is the experience of Taylor, a pupil at Juniper Green Primary School who recently went on a school trip with his fellow pupils to Lagganlia Outdoor Centre. Taylor was able to fully participate in his residential week thanks to the assistance of some newly acquired equipment through a partnership with a specialist Outdoor Adventure company ‘Equal Adventure’.

adapted buggy being used on orienteering course
Taylor Pictured using the Boma Buggy to complete an orienteering course

‘Taylor experienced things he did not believe were possible’

According to Alexa Pope, the Depute Head at Juniper Green Primary School, ‘The opportunities provided for Taylor at Lagganlia were outstanding, he was fully included in every activity which is a real achievement for inclusion… it has a significant impact on the life of Taylor who has experienced things that he did not believe were possible’.

As well as opportunities within our schools, there are community based organisations within the City. The All Ability Bike Club (ABC) is one example. Operating at Bangholm Outdoor Learning Centre in North Edinburgh, it offers participants the chance to get cycling whatever their ability or background. They use a range of adaptive bikes, including trikes, hand cycles, recumbents, side by side tandems trikes and wheelchair accessible bikes; as well as standard solo bikes.

Bangholm Outdoor Learning Centre has been able to support the Edinburgh ABC in several important ways. In addition to offering the use of the meeting area and café, the Centre has provided bike maintenance workshops, additional bikes and safety equipment, and found storage solutions for the adaptive bikes.

Furthermore, they secured external funding to provide direct access to the cycle path network (by way of a new gate that allows easy passage for all bikes no matter how wide or long).

‘The best thing about helping with Edinburgh ABC is meeting people and helping them get cycling. I love it’

David Aris and William Porter on specialist bikes
David Aris (on the left) returning from a cycle trip with fellow rider William Porter.

A key element of the ABC project has been the training programme. 26 volunteers and support staff to date have accomplished Cycle Ride Leader training programme.

An outstanding example of volunteer development is the emergence of David Aris as a volunteer cycle ride leader. David has balance and coordination difficulties, he and first came to the project as a participant. Since getting involved Edinburgh, ABC supported him through the Cycle Ride Leader training (organised via the Sports and Outdoor Learning Unit); and a Velotech Silver mechanics course with the Edinburgh Bikestation.

We leave the last word with David. As he says, ‘The best thing about helping with Edinburgh ABC is meeting people and helping them get cycling. I love it. Love meeting the group’.

Footnote: If anyone would like to get involved with Edinburgh ABC please contact the Development Officer .

interested in belonging to a community of people who love the outdoors? you can join one of our charity organisations set up to support the work of our residential outdoor learning centres. They support safe in providing safe, educational, flexible and fun experiences to motivate learning and create memories for a lifetime.
Funding from the Friends of Lagganlia has helped to purchase Adaptive Equipment.

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